January 29, 2016
by Domainmonster.com
0 comments

Price increase for uk domain names

Why is the price of UK domain names changing?

Last year, Nominet announced to registrars including Domainmonster that the wholesale price of UK domain names was going to be increased effective, 1st March 2016.

In fairness to Nominet, this is the first wholesale price change since 1999, but this decision has resulted in us having to relook our UK domain name pricing structure. We really appreciate that price changes can cause annoyance to customers, so we want to make sure that you have all the facts available as well as know ways that you can avoid these rises when renewing domain names this year.

So, first and foremost, what have Nominet said? Well, in a statement, which was released in November 2015, CEO of Nominet Russell Haworth commented:

“We’re (Nominet) committed to running a first-class service for .UK registrants, including our renowned customer service, and we’re doing more than ever before to ensure the .UK space is safe and trusted home for all. But costs have risen considerably since we last changed the price, and we need to compete in a promotion-driven industry.”

Whilst we understand these changes are significant, such changes will create what we believe to be an ultimately positive effect on customers. But price changes are never enjoyable, so here are some steps you can take to prepare for this increase.

Secure your domain now!

If you were considering purchasing a UK domain, you have until 29th February at our current prices. You can hold a domain for up to 10 years at a time, purchase now and you’ll save overall, well before you needed to use it.

What will our prices be?

We’ve published our future prices on the main website on our dedicated uk domain page at http://www.domainmonster.com/domain-names/uk-registration/

Renew your domains now!

By renewing before March 1st, you’ll renew at the current rate. You can also renew your domains for up to a total of 10 years, locking in the current price. Customers can buy or renew in advance for up to 10 years, so long as this is done before changes are implemented on March 1st, 2016.

What will we do?

In 2016 it is important to remember that domains are international – we live in a globalised world. Nominet is making changes to UK domain name offerings to be on par with international registries – a move that will ultimately, in the long run, provide more support and promotions for customers.

As you can see from our pricing above, the changes are relatively small when put in perspective! We believe that the final result will be a number of strong benefits for customers created with the additional funds and we will invest in increasing security layers to keep you protected.

So what should your next steps be?

If customers want to avoid these price changes, you are able to lock in current pricing. Customers can buy or renew in advance for up to 10 years, so long as this is done before changes are implemented on March 1st, 2016.

Domainmonster is dedicated to finding and implementing solutions for all of our great customers, so, if you want to discuss this with us, just get in contact and we will work to find a solution!

August 19, 2015
by Alex Domainmonster.com
0 comments

Essential Google Analytics metrics you should monitor

Understanding how well your website is performing is critical to your success online. Luckily, Google Analytics can help you to get valuable insights into your site’s health and how your customers are using your website. This powerful (and free) tool gives you access to a plethora of data, which can be intimidating, especially if you’re just getting started online.

In this post we’ll boil it down to four metrics that every site owner needs to check on a regular basis.

But first…

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to collect visitor data from your website. By analysing this data you can get important information into how visitors are using your website.

To use it you need to sign up for a Google Analytics account and then add a simple code to every page on your site. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to access all sorts of useful data. Here’s how it looks:

Google analytics 1

Once you get a bit acquainted with the dashboard, here are the four Google Analytics metrics we believe are critical to watch.

4 essential Google Analytics metrics to monitor

1. Visits, unique visitors and page views

It’s essential to know how many visits your site is getting on average per week or per month, or how this number is changing compared to a previous week or month. The number of visits, unique visitors and page views can give you insights into how many people are visiting your site and how many pages they’re viewing.

Here’s the low-down on these numbers:

  • Visits refers to the number of times a website was visited
  • Page views are the total number of pages that visitors looked at on a site
  • Unique visitors represent the number of people who visited our site

For example:

  • If you visit domainmonster.com tomorrow and look at our ‘home’ page, our ‘about’ page, and our ‘contact’ page, that would count as 1 visit and 3 page views.
  • If you return to domainmonster.com in one week and look at the same pages again, that will count as 1 more visit and 3 more page views. However, it will only count as 1 visitorsince it’s the same person visiting twice.

Why are these metrics important? First off, any site owner needs to know how many people are visiting their site. Secondly, you also need to determine whether your important pages are getting enough views. Are enough people going to your Contact page or filling out a form to get in touch or to book a consultation? If you have an online shop, are people going to the checkout page and how does this compare to the number of completed purchases? Also, are lots of people visiting a page that you thought is not very important such as an About Us page?

If some of your pages are getting a lot of page views, make sure you review them to ensure they include useful information that people might be searching for. If you’ve getting few page views, you might want to re-work that page and add a bit more interesting content to make it as sticky as possible.

2. Bounce rate

A “bounce” occurs when a visitors leaves your site after viewing only one page. They usually click the back button or close the browser tab. An increase in bounce rate can be a clue that the user didn’t find what they were looking for on your site, which is why they decided to leave. This is just like when someone walks into a store, takes a quick look around and immediately walks back out.

If you go to Behaviour -> Site Content -> All Pages you will be able to see the bounce rate for your top pages.

bounce rate

Obviously you can’t reduce your bounce rate to zero but it’s important to get it as low as possible. Every lost visitor is a lost opportunity so you’ll want to investigate and find out why people are leaving and what you can do to keep them around for longer.

Some issues that can use a higher bounce rate are: irrelevant content, incorrect keyword targeting, poor design and user experience and slow page load speed. So look at these things when you try to identify the cause and then make adjustments accordingly.

3. Traffic sources

Keeping track of where your visitors are coming from is extremely important if you want to grow your website. Finding out if a big chunk of your traffic is coming from search engines or from specific websites will tell you a lot about where you need to focus your marketing efforts, or if you need to diversify your traffic sources.

To find out where your traffic is coming from go to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Source/ Medium.

traffic sources

If you get a lot of search engine traffic it means that people are genuinely interested in your website’s content. Traffic from other sources, such as social traffic or traffic from different websites can be equally good at pulling people in. However, you’ll need to monitor this and keep updating your social profiles to attract even more visitors to your site.

4. Conversion rate

This is an important metric to monitor as it tells you if visitors find your content convincing enough to take an action or if your website looks trustworthy so they feel comfortable enough to buy from you.

A low conversion rate can mean different things. It’s possible that you’re not keeping people on your site long enough for them to complete an action. Or there are too many steps that they have to complete to purchase a product so they get frustrated and leave before finalising the order. Putting fewer steps between the time a visitor lands on your site and the time they complete an action can help boost your conversion rate.

Read this short guide to learn how to set up and track conversion rates in Google Analytics.

Start small

These metrics will give you a better understanding of what works on your site and what doesn’t, what attracts your visitors, what makes them want to visit more pages or what discourages them from buying from you. It will also give you ideas of what you need to improve in order to increase traffic and conversions.

What other Google Analytics metrics are you monitoring and how do you use the data to improve your site?

July 14, 2015
by Alex Domainmonster.com
0 comments

Quick tips to establish credibility on your site in ten seconds or less

Credibility can make or break an online business. Establishing that credibility starts with your website. It doesn’t have to be super-slick, but it shouldn’t be amateurish and unpolished. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do, apart from having a nicely designed website, to help build instant trust with potential customers who are visiting your website for the first time.

Why is website credibility important?

Your website is often the first point of contact for potential customers and, as you know, first impressions matter. A business that focuses on building credibility can turn visitors into customers easier. You don’t buy from someone you don’t trust, do you?

A credible website that comes across as trustworthy and knowledgeable makes people:

  • Trust that company
  • Feel comfortable sharing their personal data
  • Feel confident that they’re making the right decision buying from you
  • Feel confident it’s worth spending their money there.

10 things to add (or fix) on your site to boost credibility

  1. Web design matters. While you don’t need to have an award winning website design, it does need to like nice and clean. This creates a feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in consumers.
  2. Make your address and phone number visible at all times. Include it in the headers and/ or in the footer of your website as well in the About and Contact Us pages.
  3. Make it very easy for them to contact you. The ‘Contact’ link should always be in your navigation menu so people know how to reach you in case they need help, have problems or questions that need answered.
  4. Use simple language. People don’t trust what they don’t understand. Write using the same language your customers do. Run a search on Google to see what type of questions people ask about your products or products similar to yours. Take a closer look at the conversation around your business or niche industry and try to incorporate the words and phrases they use into your copy.
  5. Correct spelling. Broken grammar and incorrect spelling certainly make you seem less credible. It’s more forgivable in blog posts, but definitely unacceptable on your home page, product pages and other pages on your site.
  6. Provide real staff bios and photos. The chances of your visitors trusting your website can increase if you show them that there are real people behind the brand. Show them pictures of your staff. Also, avoid cheesy stock photos as there’s nothing that says “fake” like smiling customer service people with headsets on or suits shaking hands.
  7. Avoid superlatives. Don’t refer to your business as “the leader in the industry” (unless you really are) or to your product as “the best”. Instead, be specific. For example, if you have a pizza delivery service say “Get your pizza in 10 minutes, and eat it too” instead of “The fastest pizza delivery in town”.
  8. Always show prices. If you don’t reveal product prices, it will look as if you’ve got something to hide. In addition, don’t hide additional costs to only show them at the end of the ordering process. This will cause people to abandon their carts in seconds, and never return to your site again.
  9. Add testimonials from real customers. Users trust other people’s experiences. It’s one thing that big brands like Amazon are doing so well. Use real photos and full names to build trust. For increased credibility, try video testimonials.
  10. Show them it’s safe to buy from you. If you take credit card payments, show them it’s safe by adding a Verisign Seal or equivalent.

Your turn now

How do you determine whether to trust a site or not? What other elements do you feel are important to add on a site in order to build credibility?

June 12, 2015
by Alex Domainmonster.com
0 comments

Five tips to boost e-commerce conversion rates

ecommerce tips

Research shows that more than half of businesses spend less than 5% of their total marketing budgets on conversion optimisation. It’s amazing how they spend most of their resources to attract visitors to their site, but invest so little into optimising their websites for conversion to encourage more visitors to buy. A poorly optimised page can drive visitors away which means that the time and large chunk of the money invested in bringing them to the site is just wasted.

But you don’t have to be a big brand with a huge marketing budget to optimise your site and turn more of your visitors into paying customers. In this post we’ll take you through five useful and actionable tips that you can use to entice visitors to buy from you.

1. Explain products visually

The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. So if you want to grab your customers’ attention quickly and explain why they should buy it, use images and videos instead of a wall of text. Adding a shot or a video can project a better perception of your product and help explain it better, thus increasing the chances of people buying your product. In fact, here’s a stat to consider: people who watch a video of your product are as much as 85% more likely to purchase.

2. Create a sense of urgency

One of the most effective methods to entice people to you a product is to turn it into an impulse sale. Supermarkets have mastered the art of the impulse sale by adding sweets in the checkout area. So, how can you replicate this behaviour on your product page? While having a call-to-action like “buy now” or “hurry up” are fine, there are other things that you can do to convince your prospects that they’ll be missing out on a great deal if they don’t buy then and there.

Here are a few great ways to add some urgency into your product pages:

  • Low stock indicator. Let your customers know when your product is about to run out of stock. This will reassure them that they’re making the right decision since the product is so popular. As a result, they’ll buy quickly for the fear of missing out.
  • Free shipping. We all want free shipping when buying online. So offer free shipping while making sure you have enough margin to cover the delivery fee.
  • Limited time deals and discounts. Time-sensitive discounts and promotions are great for encouraging people to buy. Make sure to highlight the amount they’ll save by buying now as well as the time left before the deal expires.

3. Add trust signals

When customers first come to your site they are looking for ways to establish that you are a credible business and that you can deliver on your promises. That’s why if you want to convert visitors into paying customer you need to first show that you can be trusted.

Following are a few trust signals that you can add to your site in order to establish credibility:

  • Customer reviews. When assessing a site, people want to know what others have to say about their purchases and their experience buying from you. Genuine testimonials from past customers are a great indicator that other people have shopped on the site and enjoyed their purchase so don’t hesitate to add them on your product page or on a dedicated page.
  • If you’ve won any awards that recognise your excellent products and services or customer care, show them off.
  • Money-back guarantee. Telling your customers that they can get their money back if they’re not satisfied with the product or service is a great way to reassure them that they’re making the right choice buying from you. It also tells them that you’re confident in the quality of your products and services.
  • Complete contact information. Display your phone number, email address and live chat icon (if you provide this option) clearly. This reassures customers that you can be reached easily if they have a problem with their purchase and need your assistance. In addition, showing offline contact details like your mailing address adds credibility to the website.

4. Streamline the checkout

68.53% of online shopping carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute, a UK-based web research company. So, how can you help convert those visitors who have added products to their carts and then left without completing their purchase to finalise their order?

Here are some things you can do to encourage shoppers to complete their purchase:

  • Provide a one-page checkout option to make it easy for visitors to place their order quickly.
  • Reduce clutter by keeping copy and visual distractions to a minimum.
  • Keep your forms short and only ask for the information you need to process the order. You don’t actually need their mother’s maiden name, do you?
  • Don’t force them to register for an account. You can provide this option but if they want to check out quickly, don’t insist that they sign up for an account.

5. Speed up to sell more

40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Also, a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. In other words, if you want to sell more, you need a fast website. While there are lots of ways to decrease page load time, make sure you first choose a web hosting package that is not only affordable but also powerful.

Now you

All these techniques can help improve conversions on your site. Now all you need to do is to test them and see if they work on your site with your visitors.

Have any other advice on how to increase conversion rates on ecommerce websites? Use the comments section below to let us know what’s working best for you.

May 18, 2015
by Alex Domainmonster.com
0 comments

Five ingredients for a successful homepage

The homepage is your virtual front door, which is why you should treat is as one of the most web pages on your site. If a visitor lands on your homepage and they don’t like what they see, their first reaction is to hit the “back” button and go to your competitors’ sites instead.

So, how do you create a winning homepage that not only keeps visitors on your site but also converts them into paying customers? There are no silver bullet solutions to building the perfect homepage, however there are some best practices that you can follow to ensure yours is built for success.

1. Compelling value-proposition

If you’re a famous brand like Amazon, you can probably get away with not having to describe who you are and what you do. But if you’re not, then you’ll need to clearly answer basic questions like “Who we are”, “What we do”, and “How we can help you (the visitor)”. This will help visitors decide if you have what they’re looking for.

Steven Krugg sums it up best in his best-selling book, Don’t Make Me Think: “If visitors can’t identify what it is you do within seconds, they won’t stick around long.”

Here’s a good example from Telerik, a company that offers solutions for mobile app development:

Telerik

The homepage is the best place to nail your value proposition and quickly convince people that they’ve come to the right place. So, spend some time on creating a powerful tagline that succinctly explains the benefits of using your business, and why visitors should choose to stay on your website and not navigate to your competitors’.

2. Contact information

Want prospects to call you, to visit your location or to book a consultation? Don’t make them dig for your contact information. You don’t want to lose a potential customer over something so trivial. Make your contact information easy to find by putting it on your homepage where they can see it. Add your phone number, your email address and your location right at the top of your homepage so they know how to reach you.

This will also reassure them that you’re a genuine company and that you’re happy with assist them and quickly address any questions or concerns that they may have.

Check out this site as a good example:

aspect

The contact information is right at the top of the page. Plus, they offer three options to get in touch: you can call them, book online or add your phone number so they can call you.

3. Straightforward navigation

Having navigation on your homepage is a no brainer, but you need to ensure that your navigation is intuitive. That means that it should be easy to understand so that visitors will know exactly where they will be directed when they click a certain link in the menu. Apart from providing content, your navigation should also provide a clear route to where potential customers might want to go.

In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel. Place a simple, clear navigation at the top of the page that leads to your most important pages.

Here’s an example from cranberryblueweddings.co.uk:

cranberry

4. Trust signals

Whether it’s customer testimonials, awards, ratings, links to your social media accounts, videos presenting your team or your office, there are lots of trust builders that you can add to your homepage, even if you’re a new business just getting started.

You could even add security seals, free shipping or money-back guarantees to improve your credibility and increase levels of trust. Don’t neglect these trust signals as they’re crucial in reassuring your potential customers know that they should be confident in choosing you.

Check out this example from Freshbooks, an online invoicing software:

freshbooks

They’ve included testimonials from customers, ratings as well as reviews from authority magazines.

5. Clear call to action

Every homepage should include a strong call to action (CTA) that directs visitors to the next logical step. Whether it’s “Schedule a demo”, “Buy now” or “Sign up for a free trial”, your CTA needs to be compelling enough to convince visitors to dig deeper into your website and move further down the funnel.

A CTA tells prospects what to do next so they don’t get lost or confused. So, make sure yours is highly visible and clear on their next step should be. It’s the only way to turn your homepage into a lead-generation engine.

Want to see an example? Here is one from Lexoo, a lawyer comparison platform:

lexoo

The call to action is simple, straight to the point and compelling.

Your turn now

Your homepage is most often the first page visitors land on, which is why it’s crucial to get it right. If it’s confusing, difficult to navigate and lacks important information, you’ll lose potential sales.

What do you think is the most important element to have on a homepage? Let us know in a comment below.

April 16, 2015
by Alex Domainmonster.com
0 comments

How to identify (and appeal to) each type of buyer

spendthrifts

Your customer’s spending habits have a big impact in the way you market your product offering online. While some people have no trouble spending more money on a product, others will spend days trying to find the cheapest one on the market.

To appeal to each type of buyer, you need to cater to their spending predispositions. This means you first need to understand what makes each type of buyer tick and how you can use that information to better market your products to them.

Read on to find out more about the three main types of buyers and how to appeal to each.

The three types of buyers and how to appeal to each

Studies have identified the following three types of customers:

  1. Tightwads
  2. Average spenders
  3. Spendthrifts

types of buyers

Image via Helpscout.com

1. Tightwads — 24% of buyers

“Tightwads” don’t like spending money so they’re predisposed to say “no” to a purchase, no matter how catchy your product description is. They strongly believe that money is meant for saving, not spending. So they’d rather have it sit safely in a savings account than spend it on a product.

For this group, spending hurts. They feel a high level of buyer’s remorse, which can happen most often before but also during and after they’ve made a purchase.

How to sell to this group

This type of buyer is the most difficult one to convert. Fortunately, there are a few smart techniques that can help minimise buying pain for this kind of customer:

Use data. A buyer with a numbers-driven mind set will make decisions based on numbers. To persuade them to buy from you, you will need to address their concerns with well-researched information that includes statistics, metrics, charts and studies.

Reframe value. You will have a greater chance of converting a conservative spender if you break down your pricing into smaller increments. For example, instead of $1000 per year try showing the monthly price of your product at $84 per month. Doesn’t that seem much more affordable?

Pay attention to messaging. Tweak your copy to bump conversion rates. For example, instead of “a $5 fee” you could say “a small $5 fee”. Also, since these buyers don’t respond to emotional copy like “you deserve to relax”, focus on the money-saving aspect with your messaging by using copy like “Save $100 when you book your trip today”.

Read this article for more excellent ideas on how to convince tightwad customers to buy.

2. Average spenders – 61% of buyers

This is the average Joe who is much more likely to respond to your marketing copy and buy. They will research their options to make an informed decision, but won’t overthink it.

Make sure you work on making your product benefits and features appealing, and your comparison charts as clear as possible so they can see the differences between the various products or packages.

Since average spenders make up the biggest slice of the pie chart, make sure you focus your marketing efforts on this group as they’re likely to bring in the most revenue.

How to sell to average spenders

Use emotional triggers. They respond to a mix of emotion and metric-driven marketing messaging so use both in your copy. Read more about writing with emotion.

Make your benefits clear. Use bullet points and comparison charts to clearly show what your product can offer and how it compares to other similar products or those of your competitors.

Give them free stuff. These types of buyers love extra options like free shipping, free returns, guarantees, warranties and more. So give them some extra free stuff as it can help tip them in favour of a purchase from you.

3. Spendthrifts – 15% of buyers

Ah, the spendthrifts. They are every marketer’s dream customer. Why? Because they love spending money with no hesitation. Also, they’re the opposite of tightwads in the sense that they feel little to no pain when making a purchase. That feeling of “buyer’s remorse” is foreign to spendthrifts. In fact, the more they spend, the better they feel.

Another great thing about this type of buyers is that they often disregard the price tag. They are driven by emotions and focus on the appeal of having a specific product or service. In many cases, they equate a higher price point to a top quality product or service.

How to sell to spendthrifts

If they are in your target market, they don’t require much convincing. However, here are some tips to appeal to them:

Appeal to their emotions. Spendthrifts are more likely to buy for pleasure than for practical reasons. So your copy and visuals should focus on their emotional needs, whether that’s status, gratification, adventure and more.

Don’t be afraid to set a higher price point. If you have a high quality product, don’t undersell it. If the price is higher, it may actually attract spendthrifts as it can lead them to believe that the product is more valuable and enjoyable.

Add on fees. While shipping costs may drive away other types of buyers, it won’t have a negative impact on the purchase of a spendthrift.

In conclusion

Knowing who your buyers are and adapting your copy and visuals to appeal to each group can help increase your sales and grow your business. In fact, a few simple changes could increase your revenue dramatically.

The idea is simple: know your types of buyers and what they want, and give it to them. Once you’ve got this figured out, you will be a step ahead of your competition.

Have any other tips and advice on how to sell to these three types of buyers? Share them with us in a comment below.

March 12, 2015
by Alex Domainmonster.com
0 comments

10 Free Drupal Templates for Small Businesses

WordPress may be the most popular content management system on the web, but you’ll be surprised just how much Drupal has grown over the years.

According to the latest stats, Drupal is the second most widely-used CMS, powering around 15% of all websites on the Internet. Plus, it’s supported by a huge community of developers, that has created tens of thousands of modules and themes, and is always willing to help out.

But you know what’s even better? When you get web hosting from Domainmonster.com, you’ll also get to install the Drupal CMS with just one click. No complicated installation or configurations because everything’s already set up for you and ready to use. So, if you have little to no technical skills, this is exactly what you need to get your site up and running in a matter of minutes.

Now that you know how easy it is to get your site live, let’s also help you find a great-looking Drupal template to promote you portfolio, online shop or company website.

We’ve handpicked ten really attractive Drupal themes that you can use for free in both personal and commercial projects. Perfect if you’re on a tight budget.

Ready? Here we go!

10 attractive free Drupal themes for small businesses

1. MD Construction

Dm construction free drupal template

So you’ve managed to secure a cool new domain name and with one click you got to install your Drupal CMS. But this is only the beginning as you have plenty more to do. Until you get organised and prepare all the copy and imagery, you could use a “Coming soon” page to let prospects know you’re about to launch your new site.

This “under construction” template does the trick. It not only tells people that you’re in the process of launching or re-launching your website, but it also gives them a glimpse of what’s in store for them. Plus, you can also ask for their email addresses so they are notified the moment you’re up and running.

Beginner or advanced user, you’ll have no trouble customising everything from colour scheme, logos, favicons and more.

2. Alpha Responsive

Alpha Responsive free drupal template

Perfect for any small business, weather a startup, a spa or a coffee shop, this Drupal theme is very lightweight with a modern look and feel.

It comes with multi-level dropdown menus, a text section and a slideshow at the top and just about everything you need to present your business and your offering.

If you’re just building your first site, this template also comes with a useful tutorial on how to install the top slider as well as access to a support forum where you can ask questions on how to install or customise the template.

3. Software

Software free drupal template

If you’re planning on launching an application or any piece of software, you might want to give this slick Drupal theme a try.

It has a nice-looking design, featuring a big slideshow at the top followed by three columns where you can describe the top benefits of your product. It also has a responsive layout, which is so important these days with the growing number of mobile users.

If you need help installing the top slider or have questions about installing or using the template, there’s a tutorial available as well as a support forum where you can get your questions answered. The template is also actively maintained which means the chances of running into bugs or errors are very slim.

4. Corked Screwer

Corked Screwer free drupal template

This is one lovely Drupal theme! If you have a coffee shop, a restaurant or a winery, or if you blog about wines, this might be just what you’re looking for.

It features a slideshow at the top and multicolumn layouts as you scroll down. You can easily customise everything from logo, slogan, favicon, images, and more.

Corked Screwer also comes with a responsive grid layout so your visitors can access your site from any device.

5. Daycare

Daycare free drupal template

If you’re managing a kindergarten, a school or any other institution or programme related to children’s education, you’ll definitely love this colourful Drupal theme.

It’s mobile-friendly and built on clean HTML5 markup, extensible CSS classes and IDs for unlimited theming possibilities.

It features a header image and a multicolumn layout that gives you plenty of space to present your services, staff and events. Feel free to change anything from background and header images to colour scheme and more.

6. Bluez

Bluez free drupal template

No matter what business you’re in, if you’re looking for a theme with a clean design and without too many bells and whistles, take a look at this Drupal template.

It has a simple design with a bright colour scheme, plus it’s lightweight helping your site to load faster. You’ll find multi-level dropdown menus, easy to customise slideshow at the top, simple blocks of text perfect for presenting your business, as well as support for Google Fonts. And, yes, it’s completely free.

7. Nexus

Nexus free Drupal template

This is another good-looking Drupal theme with a responsive layout, because we all love those, don’t we? The built-in Flex slider allows your mobile visitors to swipe motions in order to scroll through slides and see what you have to offer.

The theme features a slideshow at the top with caption, multi-level dropdown menus and an extended footer area with four blocks of text. Its simple and clean design makes it an excellent choice for almost any project – business, personal portfolio, blog and more.

8. iShopping

iShopping free drupal template

When you’re selling products online, you need to make sure that your shop is well organised to allow potential customers to easily find what they’re looking for.

This ecommerce Drupal theme comes with all the vital features of an ecommerce site. It features a slider at the top where you can showcase your best-selling products or special offers, along with two sections where you can promote your newest and most popular items.

On the left side, there is a Categories navigation that will make it easier for your visitors to browse through categories of products to find what they need.

9. Bootstrap

bootstrap free drupal template

Bootstrap is another elegant, corporate-looking theme for businesses in any industry.

It’s based on the Bootstrap 3 framework. It’s also responsive, enabling your visitors to navigate through your site no matter what device they’re using – smartphones, tablets, laptops.

The theme is made out of about 20 regions that you can customise and use to present your business and what you’re about.

10. TB Events

tb events free drupal template

If you’re in the business of planning or promoting all sorts of events, whether festivals, conferences or even parties, you’ll probably want to download and start using this Drupal template right this minute.

Why? Because it’s catchy, it has an attractive colour scheme and it includes everything you could ever ask for from a template dedicated to promoting events. This means: slider at the top, useful right-side navigation, featured speakers section plus a blog section all right on the homepage of your site. Definitely worth checking out!

This is only a small part of the hundreds of Drupal themes available. Now you can probably see why Drupal’s numbers are growing and why more developers are getting involved to provide excellent themes and widgets for this powerful platform.

Have you stumbled upon any other good-looking free Drupal templates? Let’s see them in a comment below.

WordPress Permalinks 101

February 18, 2015 by Domainmonster.com | 0 comments

 

The biggest problem facing bloggers today is gaining online exposure in an increasingly saturated market. You can have the most engaging blog in the world, but simple mistakes in your WordPress settings can stop your creative genius being transmitted to the world.  Don’t worry though; here are some useful tips to help advertise your blog! Today we’ll be covering your blog’s use of permalinks.

The URL of the WordPress content which you publish is called a permalink.  Permalink structure dictates how well your website URL is constructed, meaning it directly affects the information visitors and customers enter into their browsers. They are also what search engines use to link other websites to yours, they are therefore vitally important when trying to gain significant online exposure.

You can change the structure of your permalinks at any time, however doing this alters the URL of your website, meaning search engine traffic can drop considerably and visitors can sometimes be presented with 404 page errors whilst the transition propagates. For this reason it’s best to post your blog posts with the correct permalink structure first time.

Your permalink settings can be found at /wp-admin/options-permalink.php where you can select to use WordPress’ common settings or create your own custom structure as outline below:

Picture2

So how should you format your permalinks? Well there are 10 common structure tags you can use:

  • %postname%– The post name.
  • %post_id%– The post’s unique ID
  • %category%– The chosen post category
  • %year%– The year of publication
  • %monthnum%– The month of publication
  • %day%– The day of publication
  • %hour%– The hour of publication
  • %minute%– The minute of publication
  • %second%– The exact second of publication
  • %author%– And finally the name of the author.

The aim of the game is to create a unique permalink for each blog post so they reap the full benefits of search engine optimization.  You could theoretically just use the structure tags %monthnum%  or %year% , but this would only be effective is you were posting only one blog post per month or year. It’s therefore important to differentiate your posts with several tags to ensure visitors can find their way to your site.

The default permalink structure /?p=123 (also known as a query string) is assigned to your posts in WordPress by default, meaning visitors are likely to be deterred from visiting/finding your site if the URL is just a culmination of randomly assigned numbers.

The permalink format /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ for example would allow search engines to index your URL more specifically and also allow you to define more keywords, always helpful when trying to maximise your search engine exposure.

You can also enter customised structures for your post’s category and tag bases in the lower fields of the permalink page.  The default entries are just category and tag , so are therefore inexcusably bland if left alone  You can easily update these so your blogs can be categorised in custom archives.

For example:

http://blog.domainmonster.com/categories/tag

Can be updated to show:

http://blog.domainmonster.com/domainmonster/Wordpress

Creating a much friendlier URL.

With the basics covered, you should now know all about WordPress permalinks so you can start creating your own! Remember our friendly support team are always available if you need any help or advice.

January 24, 2015
by Domainmonster.com
0 comments

5 Internet Predictions for 2015!

2015 is set to be another bumper year for the Internet! Now more than ever, everyday utensils are connected to the Web. Things like refrigerators, photo frames and even glasses are beginning to be sold with mini computers that can connect to the Internet. This has got us thinking; what Internet related things do we think is going to happen during 2015? Well, we at the Domainmonster headquarters have come up with 5 predictions forth coming year, some more likely than others…

Continue Reading →

January 18, 2015
by John McGrann
0 comments

4 highlights for Domainmonster in 2014!

This was the year that Kim Kardashian broke the internet, Scotland said no to independence and selfies took off. The world once again became a little bit smaller and the internet started playing a bigger part in our daily lives. The uptake in smartphones means that more people than ever have access to the internet whilst on the go and in terms of domain names it has been a non-stop year of launches.

Most of the year was taken up by almost weekly domain launches with an influx of new gTLDs being released. The way in which we use domain names was changed and TLDs became associated with more than just a country with cities and regions getting a boost in their visibility

Geo TLDs took off

Perhaps the most surprising outcome of 2014 was the popularity of the geo TLDs that were launched. Berlin, New York, Paris, London and many more cities launched their own TLDs to general acclaim. In context of the hundreds that have been launched, they only make up a small percent overall however it has already set a precedent that should only be picked up on moving forward with smaller cities and regions getting involved. One of the things to consider with new gTLDs is the legacy that they will leave over the years and these certainly look to be one of the categories that should stand the test of time.

In terms of what’s happened at Domainmonster, some of the most anticipated launches have been the UK based TLDs such as .scot and .london with .wales and .cymru scheduled for General Availability in 2015.

New gTLDs as a whole

In the bigger picture 2014 was really only about one thing, new TLDs. Inevitably it was one of the most interesting years for domains as the main providers jostled for market position. Of course the year consisted of some hits and some misses in terms of launches, in terms of the pricing and also the types of domains launched. Again the industry is still yet to see the long term impact of these launches and it may be some years before the uptake is to the level that the registries are expecting.

The overall winner for the new gTLDs for 2014 was .xyz which came out on top with a whopping 769,178 registrations partly due to the competitive pricing offered for registrations.

ICANN came to the UK

2014 also saw ICANN make its way to the UK with ICANN 50 taking place in London. It meant that stakeholders from all around the world were invited to take part in an event that shapes ICANN policy which affects all aspects of the domain name world and beyond. It also was a record setting attendance for ICANN with the most participants involved, highlighting the interest currently being  shown in the Internet.

Direct UK launched

For us our busiest period came when the launch of .uk domains went ahead. With a large number of our customers already managing their .co.uk domains with us it meant that large numbers of the direct UK equivalent was available through ourselves. However there are still plenty of .uk domains still update for grabs alongside the fact that we are currently running a promotion which includes free hosting with each .uk domain registration!